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Superintendent, friends enjoy front-row seats at Poco Bueno

By Elena Watts
July 22, 2013 at 2:22 a.m.

A man watches from a perch in Port O'Connor as one of yachts participating in the Poco Bueno fishing tournament heads out to sea.

Sunday morning was not exactly quiet by Port O'Connor standards, but the anticipation had subsided. Officials declared Let It Ride, owned by Gary Edwards, the winner of the Poco Bueno fishing tournament Saturday evening, and the 584-pound blue marlin it caught was hung from the big hook before an enthusiastic crowd.

Five of the six blue marlin caught in this year's competition measured 101 inches, the lower length requirement.

"This is something you don't see every day," said Stetson Roane, assistant superintendent of the Aransas Pass School District.

For seven years, Roane and his friends have had front-row seats at Poco Bueno.

They watch the big boats unload their hauls from his 48-foot Hatteras that floats in the harbor near the weigh-in station.

Roane has worked to restore his "Cadillac of '64" to its original condition for as long as he has attended Poco.

He found the boat dry-docked in a pit stop along the Texas Gulf coast and soon backed it into his Port O'Connor slip with one engine.

The boat, with its original teak doors and trim, was the best they had back in its day, he said. The locals have enjoyed watching the transformation.

"I wear my cowboy hat, stand out there, and everyone knows me," Roane said. "I have an understanding with Walter Fondren that I'll help his crew with whatever they need during the tournament."

Roane barbecued chicken, sausage, shrimp and burgers on the back of his boat for a steady stream of partygoers.

About 50 friends, including the weigh-in crew, stopped by for drinks and a bite to eat throughout the day. Roane is so hospitable, Liz Harris, principal of Goliad High School, said. He cooks and takes care of the people.

"We talk fish, life, kids, all kinds of stuff," he said. "It's a time to forget work, meet good people and leave your problems behind. Everyone helps each other."



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